Do the employees in your organisation see their workplace like a second home, simply a place where they report for duty, or a battlefield planted with mines? The answer will, to a large extent, be decided by who’s helming it.
A manager’s role in the workplace is critical, and his/her traits and skills could well have considerable bearing on employees’ future career and relationships, as well as the failure or success of the organisation.
Adil Driouech, Senior Director, Technology and Digital Media and Services, RGF Executive Search Japan, believes that managers are generally regarded as role models, and should therefore “dream big and work harder than most people in the room”.
He said: “A manager’s main customers are his/her team members, so the highest priority and time must be dedicated to investing in their care and growth. In order to motivate team members to work and grow together, it is very important for managers to convey a clear and detailed vision of where they want to drive the team towards, identify the gaps between the vision and the current situation, and develop the right strategies to win a top position in the industries they serve.”
THE ESSENITAL QUALITIES THAT DEFINE A HIGHLY CAPABLE MANAGER
Whether you’re an employer seeking to fill managerial positions with suitably qualified candidates or a manager who would like to hone your leadership capabilities, keep in mind that great ones usually possess these top 10 qualities:
1. They are effective communicators
As they are responsible for their subordinates’ conduct and contributions, managers have to establish some middle ground between their subordinates and a number of parties, including the senior managerial staff, colleagues from other departments or subsidiaries, clients and vendors. Good communication skills are critical to managers, as they have to perform the multiple roles of guide, teacher, negotiator, mediator, counsellor and advisor, to collaborate effectively with all parties involved in any project and get things running smoothly.
2. They are skilled motivators
When employees feel unappreciated, they may lack self-worth, grow increasingly despondent, or even consider jumping ship. On the other hand, they usually thrive or may even excel in their work when their managers have the propensity to nurture and mentor them. Great leaders know how best to encourage their staff to reach their full potential, and steer them towards helping their organisations achieve or even surpass their goals.
3. They do not micromanage
Employees tend to take greater pride in their work and strive to perform better when they are given autonomy, and accorded the respect and trust of their managers. Conversely, they are likely to lose confidence and enthusiasm in tackling tasks or attaining goals if they have a control freak of a manager tracking their every move, breathing down their necks, criticising their work, squashing their ideas or undercutting their decisions.
4. They believe in building a positive work culture
Backstabbing, backbiting, discrimination, bullying, harassment… such unsavoury behaviours may arise in the workplace due to lack of discipline or unfair practices. If bad feelings among employees are left to fester, they could be the cause of much unhappiness, enmity and even unruliness. Managers can effectively minimise workplace drama when they lead with optimism and assertiveness, practise fairness, express appreciation, reward good work, show empathy, and instill discipline as and when appropriate or necessary.
5. They are focused on developing employees’ strengths
Bright leaders not only have clear foresight, but are also focused on finding the best ways to harness each individual’s strengths to build a highly capable team who are able to work in harmony and steer the organisation forward.
6. They can handle pressure well
No workplace is ever free of stress. There are all kinds of human emotions to manage, seemingly impossible targets to reach, tight deadlines to meet, big challenges to overcome… When the pressure gets too overwhelming, it takes a manager with a cool head and steady nerves to keep everything under control and moving along.
7. They are decisive
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, speed and agility count. Workers look to their managers for guidance when changes have to be made or new approaches are being initiated. Without clear directions, they will be uncertain or confused about what has to be done, and consequently become stressed and frustrated.
8. They are savvy
In a fast-evolving business environment, strong leadership skills are paramount.
Managers must always be at the top of their game. They have to lead their team in keeping up with the latest industry trends, and being creative in tackling challenges, innovative in adapting to changing situations, and agile in staying ahead of the competition.
9. They behave honestly
In the business world, integrity is vital. To help foster a strong corporate brand and reputation, managers must be good role models for their subordinates – by practising integrity and behaving ethically in all their dealings, whether with colleagues, superiors, clients, business associates, or vendors.
10. They create a culture of clear accountability
It’s inevitable that, being human, workers will mess up in the course of carrying out their duties. When facing such situations, they will always appreciate a manager who’s willing to counsel and guide them, and support them in remedying the situation, rather than one who gives reprimands or assigns blame.
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RGF Executive Search Japan